Friday, October 11, 2019

California Wildfires and Power Outages

Wildfire risk is once again a topic of fierce debate in California. The Pacific Gas and Electric company has cut electricity and gas to large areas of California as a preventative measure against wildfires. Because of fires being caused by trees falling on power lines PG&E has been blamed for two deadly wildfires over the past two years. In order to avoid liability for wildfires this year the company has decided to deny electricity to millions of Californians.

The Los Angeles Times has used data provided by PG&E to map out where the company is shutting down power. Where PG&E may shut off power shows the areas where PG&E says the power may potentially go out. PG&E are not the only company to be cutting power in California. The LA Times has also released an interactive map which shows Where SoCal Edison may shut off power in California. This map shows areas without power and areas being monitored for possible shut-off.

If you are worried about wildfires in California you might like the Every Building's Wildfire Risk in California interactive map. This map colors every building in California based on a modeled risk of wildfire. The map does't include a FAQ so I'm not exactly sure how fire-risk has been modeled but the map does provide links to the sources for the data used in this modelling.

Obviously the map only provides a general risk from wildfire. That risk is not calculated based on the current weather conditions or the existence of currently burning nearby wildfires. For the latest up-to-date information on wildfires in California you should refer to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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